The Matrix

March 31st, 1999








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The Matrix

The MatrixStill of Keanu Reeves in The MatrixStill of Carrie-Anne Moss in The MatrixStill of Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss in The MatrixStill of Joe Pantoliano in The MatrixStill of Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss in The Matrix

Plot
A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers.

Release Year: 1999

Rating: 8.7/10 (524,708 voted)

Critic's Score: 73/100

Director: Andy Wachowski

Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss

Storyline
Thomas A. Anderson is a man living two lives. By day he is an average computer programmer and by night a hacker known as Neo. Neo has always questioned his reality, but the truth is far beyond his imagination. Neo finds himself targeted by the police when he is contacted by Morpheus, a legendary computer hacker branded a terrorist by the government. Morpheus awakens Neo to the real world, a ravaged wasteland where most of humanity have been captured by a race of machines that live off of the humans' body heat and electrochemical energy and who imprison their minds within an artificial reality known as the Matrix. As a rebel against the machines, Neo must return to the Matrix and confront the agents: super-powerful computer programs devoted to snuffing out Neo and the entire human rebellion.

Writers: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski

Cast:
Keanu Reeves - Neo
Laurence Fishburne - Morpheus
Carrie-Anne Moss - Trinity
Hugo Weaving - Agent Smith
Gloria Foster - Oracle
Joe Pantoliano - Cypher
Marcus Chong - Tank
Julian Arahanga - Apoc
Matt Doran - Mouse
Belinda McClory - Switch
Anthony Ray Parker - Dozer
Paul Goddard - Agent Brown
Robert Taylor - Agent Jones
David Aston - Rhineheart
Marc Aden Gray - Choi (as Marc Gray)

Taglines: The Matrix has you.

Release Date: 31 March 1999

Filming Locations: AON Tower, Kent Street, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Box Office Details

Budget: $63,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $27,788,331 (USA) (4 April 1999) (2849 Screens)

Gross: $203,600,000 (Worldwide) (12 September 1999) (except USA)



Technical Specs

Runtime:



Did You Know?

Trivia:
Nicolas Cage turned down the part of Neo because of family commitments. Other actors considered for the role included Tom Cruise and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Goofs:
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): The name of the software company Neo works at is spelled "METACORTEX" on the outside of the building, but a sign inside the building has it spelled "META CORTECHS". Featurettes suggest that the name was changed to avoid an expensive legal issue; evidently one of the signs was missed.

Quotes:
[first lines]
[phone rings]
Cypher: Yeah.
Trinity: Is everything in place?
Cypher: You weren't supposed to relieve me.
Trinity: I know, but I felt like taking a shift.
Cypher: You like him, don't you? You like watching him.
Trinity: Don't be ridiculous.
Cypher: We're gonna kill him. You understand that?
Trinity: Morpheus believes he is the one.
[...]



User Review

The benchmark for all sci-fi films to come

Rating: 10/10

The story of a reluctant Christ-like protagonist set against a baroque, MTV backdrop, The Matrix is the definitive hybrid of technical wizardry and contextual excellence that should be the benchmark for all sci-fi films to come.

Hollywood has had some problems combining form and matter in the sci-fi genre. There have been a lot of visually stunning works but nobody cared about the hero. (Or nobody simply cared about anything.) There a few, though, which aroused interest and intellect but nobody 'ooh'-ed or 'aah'-ed at the special effects. With The Matrix, both elements are perfectly en sync. Not only did we want to cheer on the heroes to victory, we wanted them to bludgeon the opposition. Not only did we sit in awe as Neo evaded those bullets in limbo-rock fashion, we salivated.

But what makes The Matrix several cuts above the rest of the films in its genre is that there are simply no loopholes. The script, written by the Wachowski brothers is intelligent but carefully not geeky. The kung-fu sequences were deftly shot -- something even Bruce Lee would've been proud of. The photography was breathtaking. (I bet if you had to cut every frame on the reel and had it developed and printed, every single frame would stand on its own.) And the acting? Maybe not the best Keanu Reeves but name me an actor who has box-office appeal but could portray the uneasy and vulnerable protagonist, Neo, to a T the way Reeves did. But, come to think of it, if you pit any actor beside Laurence Fishburne, you're bound to confuse that actor for bad acting. As Morpheus, Mr. Fishburne is simply wicked! Shades of his mentor-role in Higher Learning, nobody exudes that aura of quiet intensity than Mr. Fishburne. His character, battle-scarred but always composed Morpheus, is given an extra dose of mortality (He loves Neo to a fault.) only Mr. Fishburne can flesh out.

People will say what they want to say about how good The Matrix is but the bottomline is this: finally there's a philosophical film that has cut through this generation. My generation. The Wachowski brothers probably scribbled a little P.S. note when they finished the script saying: THINK FOR A MOMENT ABOUT YOUR EXISTENCE. What is the Matrix, you ask? Something that's closer to reality than you think.

Either that or it's my personal choice for best film of all-time.




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